Powerless: Over 400 transformers out of order in Swat

Locals complain of nearly 20 hours of outages every day.

Fazal Khaliq July 19, 2013
In many areas, malfunctioned transformers are lying on the ground awaiting repairs. PHOTO: FILE

MINGORA: Hundreds of transformers across Swat valley have broken down either due to low voltage or excessive load during the last few days, leaving dozens of villages without electricity.

Over 400 transformers in the valley are out of order, according to reports published in various vernacular newspapers. Locals said 119 transformers have failed in Kabal tehsil alone, while over 50 have broken down in Matta tehsil where massive power cuts have become the norm.

“Our electricity has been suspended for the last 48 hours because transformers in our area have broken down,” complained Ajmal Khan, a resident of Sijbanr, Matta. He added transformers in neighbouring villages have malfunctioned too.

“Why is the federal government treating us this way? The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and the government is least affected by our protests,” lamented Idrees Khan, a resident of Kanju.

In many areas, malfunctioned transformers are lying on the ground awaiting repairs, yet no officials from Wapda have come to fix them.

“We even repaired our transformers ourselves by collecting donations from villages. However, after a couple of days they broke down again because of low voltage,” said Sohail, a resident of Saidu Sharif.

Since the past two days, the valley has witnessed over 20 hours of outages daily. In some areas, locals claimed Wapda has issued notices to people to arrange transformers at their own personal expense. Concerned authorities, however, declined to comment on the matter.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2013.